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Poster: Rick Prelinger Date: Mar 25, 2004 7:38pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Resolution/Wurlitzer Tour Issue

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the fuzziness has to do with resolution. I believe it has more to do with the quality of the film material from which we made videotape.

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Poster: coolcatdaddy Date: Mar 25, 2004 7:53pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Resolution/Wurlitzer Tour Issue

Rick, I hate to disagree (I know this is your archives), but I think I have enough experience to know the difference.

Test it yourself -- download the MPEG 2 versions of the RCA Victor "Living Stereo" film and one of parts of Reel 1 of the New York World's Fair footage and write them to a DVD.

On the "Living Stereo" film, you can see film grain, dust and scratches -- on an HDTV monitor with a DVD player using component video connections, the image looks like projected film.

The Fair footage looks like it has the resolution of a video CD and is digitally scaled -- you can't see grain and the details are just gone.

Again, the movies seem to be encoded at different resolutions (noted elsewhere in the forums) -- can there be some kind of notation so we're not downloading a pig in a poke?

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Poster: The Diabolical Erroneous Monk Date: Mar 26, 2004 9:43am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Resolution/Wurlitzer Tour Issue

There is definitely a wide range of MPEG-2 variations in use here. Some of them are even standard sizes!

480x480 is valid NTSC SVCD resolution.

352x480 is CVD resolution, which is a valid subset of SVCD, originally developed as a competing standard and then absorbed into SVCD. CVD resolution is also part of the DVD specs, though DVD requires 48kHz audio instead of (S)VCD's 44.1 kHz - I've never had problems with 48kHz audio on a (S)VCD, even though it's technically not to specs.

368x480 isn't a valid resolution for any DVD or VCD formats, though some players will tolerate the resolution to a certain extent when burned as non-standard SVCD or DVD. There are a LOT of these buggers in the Archives.

640x480 is common for video on computer, but not supported in the (S)VCD or DVD specs. Some DVD players will play it when it's burned as a non-standard SVCD or DVD, and some won't.

704x480 is legal in the DVD specs.

720x480 is the most frequently used resolution for DVDs.

It's worth mentioning that many CVD and SVCD-resolution files in the archive have bitrates well in excess of the standard, which is 2500 kbps, with variable bitrate support. This means that though you might be able to create a SVCD using that file , your DVD player probably won't be able to pull the data off the CD fast enough to keep up with the video. A few models will, but more will not.

I think it would be very helpful to provide information about resolution, bitrate, audio format, and framerate for each clip, seeing as there's so many different types of MPEG-2 in use here. A person who can play LIVING STEREO may not be able to play HEMP FOR VICTORY, but both are labeled as "MPEG-2" format.

A somewhat related side note: VCD video, which is MPEG-1 @ 352x240, can also be used directly on DVDs - it's fully part of the DVD spec, as long as the VCD's 44.1 kHz audio is re-encoded at 48kHz. The only catch is that MPEG-1 at the FILM frame rate, 23.976 fps, which is part of the VCD standard, isn't supported in the DVD spec; only MPEG-2 can use that frame rate on a DVD.

This archive is a national treasure, and I hope my information is of use to it.

This post was modified by The Diabolical Erroneous Monk on 2004-03-26 17:41:39

This post was modified by The Diabolical Erroneous Monk on 2004-03-26 17:43:19

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Poster: Steve Nordby Date: Mar 26, 2004 11:14am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Resolution/Wurlitzer Tour Issue

I like the video format comparison table on this page:

"Fuzziness" can happen anywhere - out of focus original shots, bad prints, out of focus telecine, low resolution videotape format, multiple generations, low res digital capture, format conversion . . . I recall reading that the archive transfers film to Beta SP then digitizes. Beta SP is better than anything a consumer is likely to see, but there can still be more info in a 16mm frame than it can capture. Anyway, I too would like to see resolution and bitrate info for the mpeg2 files, and I'd love to see "American Look" re-captured at 720x480!

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Poster: Rick Prelinger Date: Mar 26, 2004 2:51pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Resolution/Wurlitzer Tour Issue

Interesting observations. When I get back home on Monday, I'll look at the tapes from which we digitized and see whether they offer any clues. I do recall the Wurlitzer film is half kinescope, which is inherently fuzzy, and the color portion is out of focus.

A bit of information about resolution. We attempted to encode files at 1/2 D1 at the very beginning of this project, and were erroneously told to set the encoder at 368 x 480 rather than 352 x 480. The 368 files are a problem, I know. Later we decided to encode other files at 480 x 480 (2/3 D1). We didn't do full D1 because of bandwidth limitations at the time.

This post was modified by Rick Prelinger on 2004-03-26 22:51:21